& others (text & illus.). Vol. 1. Top Shelf. 2015. 557p. ISBN 9781603090261. pap. $39.99. Rated: M. BIOG/GRAPHIC NOVELS
This volume comprises the first half of Campbell's (The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains) epic tale of the adventures of the Greek god of the vine. Bacchus is now 4000 years old, so the stories contained herein combine his current activities as well as his recollections of various past events extending back to the Homeric era (1100–800 BC). Some of Bacchus's tales include the latter-day demise of most of the Olympians, adding to the selection of already well-known legends. Bacchus is accompanied by Mr. Simpson, a no-longer-dead expert on classical literature. Other prominent characters include Joe Theseus (yes, that Theseus), three brothers who are the "gods of business," and the Eyeball Kid, grandson of Hundred-Eyed Argus, Hera's watchman. The stories in the modern era have a crime motif, while those in the ancient world involve the expected godly squabbles and seductions, battles and quests. Campbell shares artistic duties with several others, including Ed Hillyer, Pete Mullins, Wes Kublick (writing), and Woodrow Phoenix (lettering), but the quality of the black-and-white drawings remains high. The wrinkled face of Bacchus recalls the visage of a certain aged Dark Knight.
VERDICT Uncork this jeroboam-sized collection and you will encounter a bold vintage with strong flavors of mythology accompanied by none-too-subtle violence and sex with a deeply absurd finish.
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